Definition of stilted in US English:



  • 1(of a manner of talking or writing) stiff and self-conscious or unnatural.

    ‘we made stilted conversation’
    • ‘I hate stilted, awkward conversations with someone to whom you should be able to talk absolutely naturally - particularly when, not so long ago, you were able to be completely yourself with that person.’
    • ‘If by good you mean the author manages to keep you turning the pages even though his writing is stilted and the characters are like stick figures, then yes, it was good.’
    • ‘Some of the dialogue is delivered in a stilted manner, and some of the plot devices a bit forced.’
    • ‘The stilted, awkward conversation of the first ten minutes - as each circles, trying to discover the other's motives for the meeting - quickly gives way to a horribly compelling, recaptured intimacy.’
    • ‘Sweeping back his unruly fringe on a breezy hotel terrace, the burly White House veteran still has the demeanour of a veteran political campaigner, steely and unyielding behind his folksy southern manners and slightly stilted bonhomie.’
    • ‘The slightly stilted animation and cheesy synthesized pop music are here in all their glory.’
    • ‘And then when I do just leap in and start writing, I realise how horribly stilted my writing sounds, and that I don't know where I'm going, and that I really should do some more planning.’
    • ‘The intentionally boxy, stilted animation is arresting at first, until one is distracted by the content of the show itself.’
    • ‘The graphics in the 2D sections of the game don't look too bad, although some of the animations are pretty stilted.’
    • ‘In a stilted manner, he replied, ‘I didn't do too badly.’’
    • ‘I have had a few stilted conversations, feeling a little self-conscious and unsure, but I think with a bit of practice I will improve.’
    • ‘The scriptwriter's Danish, right, and because they haven't corrected his dialogue a lot of it sounds really stilted and forced and unnatural.’
    • ‘The show works best when it gives the illusion of spontaneity, but there is the occasional awkward, stilted conversation that is obviously neither natural nor scripted.’
    • ‘If the weekend turned out to be a horrible mistake, at least I wouldn't have to endure five hours of strained stilted conversations on the return journey.’
    • ‘Everyday life currently seems to consist of one long round of awkward, stilted conversations.’
    • ‘Although Mandy told the girls later that the lunch had ‘been very romantic’, the two-hour date saw the two behaving self consciously and chatting in a stilted manner.’
    • ‘This stilted comedy of manners lacks a framework around which to dress itself and, subsequently, has the feel and look of a second-rate sketch show to it.’
    • ‘There were long periods with little to no dialogue, and what dialogue there was felt stilted and unnatural (but that may have been the intention).’
    • ‘I used to teach English as a foreign language, in Bolivia, and believe me, I quickly learnt that even people with no English whatsoever quickly get confused by this kind of unnatural, stilted, contextless speech.’
    • ‘Moreover, his public image was balanced somewhere between the effete decadence of a dandy and the stilted manners of an upper-class gentleman.’
    strained, forced, contrived, constrained, laboured, laborious, stiff, self-conscious, awkward, unnatural, wooden, unrelaxed
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  • 2Standing on stilts.

    ‘villages of stilted houses’
    • ‘She will be staying with the Karen people in their stilted houses in the bamboo and teak jungle where there is no electricity.’
    • ‘You can stay in a grass hut with sunset views for a few pounds and it's wonderful, but for just shy of £50, you get into Bon Ton, a beautiful resort of antique stilted fishermen's houses overlooking a water-lilied lagoon.’
    • ‘Thereafter we began to shed the plantations and move into rainforest punctuated by stilted kampung houses and jackfruit trees.’
    • ‘It is a stilted glitch house that emerges- and one that maintains a different kind of funk- one that is cut off at every opportunity, one that is not free flowing, but one that demands attention.’
    • ‘He will experience, together with 60 other fund raisers from across the country, the hospitality of local people in stilted houses in remote villages, as well as Ho Chi Minh city.’
    1. 2.1Architecture (of an arch) with pieces of upright masonry between the imposts and the springers.
      • ‘An aperture in the back wall is incised in the form of an unmoulded stilted arch; there is one low table round which diners slump on leather pouffes; the other tables are covered in cloths of thick striped material.’
      • ‘The stilted arch, which is clearly identifiable in the watercolour, can still be seen when visiting Bowes Castle - three miles from the museum.’